AP EXCLUSIVE: California tax return donations for charity delayed, lost in state bureaucracy

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Every year when they do their taxes, Californians donate millions for charitable causes.

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But a review by The Associated Press found nearly $10 million of that money sat unspent in government accounts at the end of last year. Some of the funding never reached its intended target.

Good intentions often meet a lengthy bureaucratic maze with little oversight. That leaves many of the contributions delayed and lost.

At the same time, lawmakers leave distribution up to state agencies that sometimes don't know what to do.

California has the nation's largest voluntary tax contribution program. Tax forms included 36 funds in the last decade.